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What are the 3 Stages of Dental Implants?

Did you know that dental implants boast a remarkable success rate of up to 98%? This impressive statistic is the obvious reason why they are the go-to solution for people looking to replace missing teeth. 

Choosing to get dental implants can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are unaware of what the procedure entails. Understanding the process can help clarify things and answer any questions you might have. 

Join us as we walk you through the three critical stages of dental implants and give you all the answers you need before you get your implants.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is one of the best long-lasting solutions to replace your missing teeth. They are prosthetic teeth that can be "implanted" to fill in the space your lost tooth has left behind. 

Dental implants are the perfect option for those who wish to restore their smile and improve their oral health. They are as close to a perfect alternative as you can find for a missing tooth.

What are the 3 Stages of Dental Implants?

Stage 1: Initial Consultation & Planning

Consultation

  • The initial consultation is the first crucial step in the dental implant procedure. This meeting will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants and if there are any underlying conditions that your dentist needs to be aware of. 
  • Your dentist will review your complete medical history, including any existing medical conditions, allergies, and precious dental treatments. 
  • A thorough clinical exam will be conducted to check your mouth, gums, and remaining teeth.
  • Your dentist will also evaluate bone density through X-rays or scans to get an idea of the feasibility of dental implants.

Planning

  • Your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on the information gathered during the consultation. 
  • If you have insufficient bone density, the dentist might recommend additional procedures like bone grafting to ensure a stable foundation for the implants.
  • Your dentist will provide a detailed schedule that outlines each step so you will know what to expect throughout this journey. 

Stage 2: Surgical Procedure

The Prepping

  • Before the surgery, patients are typically advised to avoid eating or drinking at least six hours before the procedure. 
  • You should take any prescribed medication as directed by your dentist. 
  • Make plans beforehand and get someone to drive you home after the procedure, as you might be groggy from anesthesia after the surgery. 

The Implant Placement

  • A small incision will be made into your gum tissue to expose the jawbone. 
  • The dentist will drill a small pilot hole into the exposed jawbone using specialized dental instruments. This initial hole will be where the implant will be placed.
  • The implant is carefully inserted into the pilot hole and gradually screwed or tapped into place, ensuring it is firmly anchored in the jawbone.
  • The dentist will then stitch the gum tissue back in place, covering the implant. 
  • In some cases, a healing abutment (cap) is placed on the implant to facilitate easier access for the next stage of the procedure.

Post-Surgery Care

  • You will receive very specific instructions for post-surgery care that will help you heal faster and minimize your pain.
  • Rest: Take it easy for the remainder of the day, avoiding strenuous activities.
  • Ice Packs: Apply ice packs to the outside of the face to reduce swelling.
  • Pain Management: Take prescribed pain medications or over-the-counter pain relievers as needed.
  • Diet: Refrain from hard foods and avoid hot beverages for the first few days.
  • Oral Hygiene: Strive to maintain a good oral hygiene routine, but be gentle while cleaning around the implant site.

Stage 3: Abutment & Crown Placement

Follow-Up Visits

Follow-up visits are crucial after the initial implant placement. During these visits, the dentist will:

  • Monitor the progress of osseointegration (how successfully the implant is integrating with your jawbone) 
  • Check for any complications, like infection, implant mobility, or gum recession.
  • Ensure that the implant is healing as expected and is ready for the next stage of the procedure.

The dentist will do a thorough clinical examination and use imaging techniques to verify that the implant has fused properly with the bone. If the implant has successfully integrated and the surrounding tissues are healthy, the dentist will proceed to the next stage of placing the abutment.

Abutment Placement

Placing the abutment involves a minor surgical procedure. 

  • The dentist will expose the top of your implant by making a small cut in the gum tissue.
  • They will remove the healing cap and attach the abutment to the implant. This abutment extends above the gum line and serves as the connector for the dental crown.
  • The gum tissue is repositioned around the abutment but not covering it, allowing it to heal around the abutment.
  • A short healing period (a few weeks) is necessary after the abutment is placed. During this time, your gum tissue will heal and shape around the abutment. 

Crown Placement

The final step involves creating and fitting the custom dental crown. 

  • Your dentist will create an impression of the abutment and nearby teeth to create a precise mold.
  • The dental lab uses this mold to design a custom crown that will match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
  • Once the custom crown is ready, the dentist will place it on top of the abutment to check its fit, alignment, and appearance.
  • After the trial fitting and adjustments, the crown is permanently attached to the abutment using dental cement or a screw.
  • The dentist will make any final adjustments to ensure comfort and functionality.
  • A final polishing is given to the crown to match the shine of your surrounding teeth. 

 

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Longevity & Durability

Dental implants are specifically designed as a long-lasting solution for missing teeth. Unlike traditional dentures or bridges, which may need replacement every 5-10 years, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. 

Improved Oral Health

By replacing missing teeth, dental implants maintain the natural alignment of your remaining teeth and prevent them from shifting into spaces left by missing teeth.

Enhanced Appearance

Dental implants enhance a person's appearance and self-confidence. They are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth, providing a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result. 

Boost in Confidence

The natural appearance of implants helps individuals feel more confident in their smiles, which can positively impact social interactions and self-esteem. 

Functionality

Dental implants restore full chewing power, enabling you to enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions. This functionality is particularly important for maintaining a balanced diet and proper nutrition, as patients can comfortably chew a variety of foods. 

Conclusion

Dental implants improve your oral health, enhance appearance, and restore functionality and comfort by replacing your missing teeth. By carefully understanding and following each stage, patients can achieve a successful and satisfying outcome, leading to a healthier, more confident smile. 

Consult your dental professional before embarking on your dental implant journey to optimal oral health.

Ready for Your Dental Implants? Contact ZircTeeth!

Take the first step towards restoring your smile and confidence with ZircTeeth's exceptional dental implant services.

Schedule a consultation with ZircTeeth today

FAQs

The length of a dental implant process depends on several factors,  such as your oral health, the number of implants needed, and any additional procedures required (such as bone grafting). On average, the entire process can take anywhere from several months to over a year to complete.

Advanced dental technology and anesthesia techniques have made the dental implant procedure much more comfortable for patients than traditional tooth replacement options. Patients report minimal discomfort after the procedure, if any.

  • Persistent pain or discomfort around the implant site
  • Swelling, redness, or inflammation of the gums around the implant 
  • The feeling of a loose or unstable implant
  • Receding gums around the implant that expose the implant structure
  • Difficulty in chewing or speaking

If you experience any of these signs or have concerns about your dental implant, you must contact your dentist promptly for an evaluation.

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